Ancient Graffiti on Tyre Tetradrachm


This fine posthumous Alexander was minted in 318/17 B.C or era date 32 of Ozmilk (Azemilkos). Due to the compelling evidence given in Le Riders publication “Alexander The Great – Coinage, Finances and Policy” and Elayi & Elayi “The Coinage of the Phoenician city Tyre in the Persian period” this former coin of AKE is now to be attributed to Tyre.

Whilst studying this intriguing coin under a magnifying glass i came across some interesting ancient graffiti, at some point 2300 years ago the owner unwittingly scratched his/her mark or initials onto the coin, thus leaving a permanent record for future scholars to study. Located horizontally between Eagle and Zeus´s upper torso and head, the letters mem, beth & resh can be easily read from the top down. This style of Phoenician lettering is unmistakable and can only be found in the vicinity of Tyre.

When searching the net for additional era date 32´s, i found a second coin with similar lettering in the exact same positions. Although i am pretty confident which letters were scratched onto the second coin, i will leave this to the individual to make up there own mind.

The most intriguing aspect of the aforementioned graffiti was a second mark scratched into the coin directly in front of Zeus´s knees. This mark is extremely similar on both coins, could we be looking at two individual Tetradrachms with obvious die variations that were possibly owned by the same person or ancient banker.

If i only had a Tardis, hypothetically speaking.

Please follow provided link for the coins attribution.

LT 2                                             LT 8  LT 11LT 14 2  LT 15 2

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